Archive for Peter Riddell

Peter took up the Directorship at the Institute for Government on 1st January 2012. He was previously a Senior Fellow at the Institute and divided his time here with his work for the Detainee Inquiry, a privy counsellor panel looking at whether the British Government was implicated in the improper treatment of detainees held by other countries (a role from which he resigned at the end of last year to concentrate on the IfG). At the Institute, he co-authored reports on Transitions and Ministerial Effectiveness and has been closely involved in work on political and constitutional reform. Until mid-2010, Peter was a journalist for nearly 40 years, split between the Financial Times and The Times, where he had been their domestic political analyst and commentator. He has been a regular broadcaster, has written seven books and delivered frequent lectures. He chairs the Hansard Society, a non-partisan charity which promoters understanding of Parliament and representative democracy. He will be stepping down from this role in the next few months. Peter has received two honorary doctorates of literature, is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, an Honorary Fellow of the Political Studies Association and was one of the first recipients of the President’s medal of the British Academy. He was appointed to the Privy Council in July 2010 in order to serve on the Detainee Inquiry.

Peter Riddell’s Posts

Key questions for after the election

, 22 April 2015

The main challenge for all politicians and parties during the election is how to win without tying their hands and making governing much harder over the next five years. Of course, winning votes always takes priority. But there will be life in office after May 7th, for someone.

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Clarify election guidelines before May 2015

, 4 February 2015

With uncertainty about the outcome of the general election, IfG Director Peter Riddell backs the call from the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee to “clarify the rules of the game” before May 2015.

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The delay with the Chilcot report is misunderstood

, 21 January 2015

Much of the political and media outrage over the further delay in publication of the Chilcot report into the Iraq war is exaggerated and misunderstands what such an inquiry involves. Of course, it would have been much better if the report had been published earlier, and the delay has damaged public confidence. But there...

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Keep calm and clarify

, 20 January 2015

The prospect of another hung parliament after the May 7 elections is being treated with a mixture of alarm and excitement by the business, political and media worlds. There are certainly risks in an inconclusive result, but the British political system is remarkably resilient. Government will carry on: services will be provided and...

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Looking ahead to the 2015 election

, 29 December 2014

No one is viewing next May’s general election with enthusiasm. The widespread expectation is of either an inconclusive result or a government without much authority.

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Lord Browne – Successes but ragged at the edges

, 18 November 2014

What is striking is how Lord Browne and other prominent business figures who are lead non-executive directors on 17 Whitehall boards have gained acceptance from departmental permanent secretaries – the very group who most strongly resisted their introduction by Francis Maude in 2010. Cynics might see this as producer capture, but there are positive...

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The updated guidance on the Osmotherly Rules

, 20 October 2014

Civil servants running the biggest projects will now be directly accountable to Parliament. The 34-year-old Osmotherly rules, providing guidance for ministers and civil servants appearing before select committees, have been rewritten to allow parliamentary select committees to question key officials (the Senior Responsible Owners or SROs) about the implementation of key projects.

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By Prime Ministerial Appointment: the PM and Permanent Secretaries

, 17 October 2014

The Civil Service Commission had gone out on a limb on the issue of Permanent Secretary appointments in face of the views of the three main parties and many senior civil servants. So its latest announcement that the Prime Minister will, in future, be given a choice of candidates for around 25 heads of...

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The challenge for new civil service CEO John Manzoni

, 3 October 2014

The challenge facing John Manzoni as the new chief executive of the Civil Service is to show that central leadership can improve performance across Whitehall. That goal has eluded his predecessors in part because of insufficient authority in face of entrenched departmental interests, as well as handling departments at times in too controlling a...

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Commons divisions

, 29 August 2014

The normal tranquillity of Westminster in August has been broken this year by a rumbling row over the appointment of the next Clerk of the House. The interviews for the top official in the House of Commons were completed in July. But the final stage of the process, whereby the name of the candidate...

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